Master of Arts

Lumen Cordis classes take place during the day alongside our seminarians, and are offered in fall, spring and May session semesters.

Cor Unum identifies and develops lay leaders with the courage to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s reconciling love in word and action. Classes take place on Monday evenings from 6:10 -9:00 pm and one Saturday every month.

The Adveniat Regnum Tuum pathway is designed for seminarians of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ) living abroad who seek to deepen and extend their theological knowledge.

Lumen Cordis (Day Program)

The Lumen Cordis (Light of the Heart) pathway, which has been serving students for three decades, offers the flexibility to pursue a program of study tailored to each student’s personal interests.  The degree can be completed in two years through full-time study, or spread out at a slower pace to accommodate students with busy schedules. Most Lumen Cordis classes take place during the day alongside our seminarians, and are offered in fall and spring semesters as well as May and summer sessions.

Students in the Lumen Cordis pathway select one of two areas of concentration:

  • Scripture
  • Systematic Theology

Each area of concentration offers several options for electives fitting the student’s goals and interests.

Regardless of the area of concentration, students have two routes to completion of the degree:

  • Plan A: 33 credit hours of course work concluding with comprehensive exams
  • Plan B: 27 credit hours of course work and a six-credit written thesis

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Lumen Cordis Requirements

All students complete three of the following core classes (each is 3 credits):

  • Scriptural Foundations
  • Fundamental Theology
  • Foundations of Christian Spirituality
  • Fundamental Moral Theology

Students in Plan A complete:

  • 15 credits in the chosen area of concentration
  • 9 elective credits
  • Comprehensive exams (oral and written)

Students in Plan B complete:

  • 15 credits in the chosen area of concentration
  • 3 elective credits
  • Written thesis (6 credits)
  • Language requirement

For further information contact:
Mr. Michael Beard
Director of MA & Pastoral Formation Programming 
(414) 858-4655

Cor Unum (Night Program)

Limited need-based financial assistance is available and considered at the time of application. Students who need a philosophy or religious studies pre-requisite will be given free, just-in-time options over May and/or the summer. We want to ensure this is a good fit for you; please contact Michael Beard for a tour, information, and to get to know the, 414-858-4655.


Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology’s Cor Unum (One Heart) Master of Arts pathway, with an emphasis in systematic theology, identifies and develops lay leaders with the courage to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s reconciling love in word and action. Employing a cohort model that builds relational bonds with fellow students and faculty, participants are not just completing an M.A. degree, but deepening their personal sense of discipleship and joining a community committed to inviting and inspiring discipleship in others.


As an expression of the New Evangelization, Cor Unum has two primary and complementary goals:

  • To develop within the student a profound encounter with Jesus Christ through the study of Scripture and Tradition leading to a greater passion for the renewal of the Church and world.
  • To engage in the conversion of culture by hearing and responding to God’s call to evangelize and heal a fractured world through the Gospel’s message of reconciliation, justice, and mercy.


“The Cor Unum program has been life-changing for the students and graduates,” McNeil said. “It has helped them come to understand more deeply their personal call from God, and their personal mission to go out into the world. The students and graduates of the program continue to transform our parish communities and other apostolates in the archdiocese.” – Susan McNeil, the director of lay ministry for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

This is a quote from a Catholic Herald article written about the Cor Unum program. To read the full article, click here.


What Makes Cor Unum Unique?

  • A cohort model that fosters an intentional community of learning
  • A rigorous study of academic theology combined with a vision of evangelizing and healing a fractured world
  • Theology taught from the heart of the Church in the context of a Roman Catholic seminary and school of theology
  • Built in light of the Dehonian charism of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJs)
  • A “flipped classroom” – Dynamic in-class experiences focused on active learning of adult students, along with supplemental online delivery

Personal Discernment

  • A topic of focus on the retreat, Apostolic Saturdays, and through individual guidance
  • The program takes time to examine how each student’s personal experience shapes their study and engagement with the Church’s theological tradition
  • Serves as a way to integrate one’s baptismal calling, learning, and experiences

Cor Unum Program Components:

  • Mass or Eucharistic Adoration
  • Fostering discernment and self-awareness
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Pastoral Skills
  • Theological Studies

Cor Unum Program Schedule:

  • Classes meet Monday evenings, 6:10-9:00 pm, with supplemental content delivered online
  • Apostolic Saturdays (Usually the 2nd Saturday of the month)

The four semesters of Cor Unum are organized around the themes of the four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council:

Fall Year One

Cornerstone 1 Theme: Divine Revelation (Dei verbum)

  • Scriptural Foundations
  • Fundamental Theology
  • Personal Discernment

Spring Year One

Cornerstone 2 Theme:  The Church (Lumen gentium)

  • Jesus in the New Testament
  • Christ and the Church

Summer Experience Options

  • Holy Land Archeological Expedition
  • Ministering to the Human Person
    • Theological Anthropology Class (Online)
    • Theology elective (modality varies)

Fall Year 2

Cornerstone 3 Theme: The Moral Life and Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium)

  • Fundamental Moral Theology
  • Sacramental Theology

Spring Year 2

Cornerstone 4 Theme:  The Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et spes)

  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • Faith and Culture

Contextualized Apostolic Learning Lab (CALL)

  • Integrated into year two (Cornerstones 3 and 4), including the retreat, classes, and Apostolic Saturdays.
  • The Contextualized Apostolic Learning Lab requires the students to select an issue pertaining to a fracture or wound in the world which relates to the fruits of their personal discernment, and to peer into this issue using the tools of theological reflection.
  • While seeking to identify and understand these fractures, the students are challenged to articulate the difference systematic theology makes in responding to and healing these wounds.

Capstone Paper and Defense 

  • Mid-May through June after Cornerstone 4.
  • Students demonstrate the integration of the various components of the Cor Unum program. In so doing, students link theological learning to the contemporary needs of the Church and the world.
  • Students develop a written work that includes a theological, integrative account. This draws together the student’s education and experiences, demonstrating the student’s theological knowledge as well as skills developed through the program.
  • Once the written work is complete, the student will defend the paper to a panel of faculty members in the presence of the cohort.

Adveniat Regnum Tuum (ART)

The Adveniat Regnum Tuum pathway (Your Kingdom Come) is designed for seminarians of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ) living abroad who seek to deepen and extend their theological knowledge.  SCJ seminarians will gain a global perspective through exposure to the educational methods of higher education in the United States. Students participate in a series of seven fully online courses.


ATS Distance Learning Approval

On June 2, 2020 the ATS Board of Commissioners met and accepted the report, confirming that our ART pathway conforms to the appropriate policies and procedures.

In a separate action on the same day, ATS has approved our petition to offer comprehensive distance education in a given program. With this approval, the mode of delivery we use for the ART pathway is also approved by ATS.

Sacred Heart offers a Master of Arts degree via three distinct pathways: Lumen Cordis (Light of the Heart), Cor Unum (One Heart), and Adveniat Regnum Tuum (Your Kingdom Come).


Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology offers three distinct Master of Arts degree paths to meet your particular needs.  Each program provides outstanding opportunities for lay students to enrich their faith lives and their ability to serve God’s Church. Specifically, the SHSST M.A. Program strives to provide a deep exploration of the meaning of the Christian faith in today’s world.


Students in SHSST’s M.A. Program will benefit from the seminary’s outstanding faculty, known for both their excellent teaching and their writing. They have doctorates from Notre Dame, Marquette, Catholic University, and Fordham, and several pontifical universities in Rome. Their work is faithful to Church teaching, while engaging the newest developments in their fields. SHSST is accredited both by The Higher Learning Commission and by the Association of Theological Schools.


Classes take place in a spiritually rich seminary setting, with a diverse resident seminarian population representing five continents. Known for its welcoming spirit, the dynamic learning community at SHSST enriches not only the mind, but the heart. The Eucharist, Adoration and Reconciliation, regular parts of seminary life, are coupled with a commitment to the social teachings of the Church.


As an apostolate of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, U.S. Province, SHSST embodies a missionary zeal built around the order’s devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.